How to Remove Wood Stain From Concrete: Solutions And Steps

Wood stains are mainly used on wood surfaces to protect and improve their appearance. However, for one reason or another, they can end up on a concrete surface. When this scenario happens, the best solution is to remove it promptly.

What are methods on how to remove wood stain from concrete? You can use various methods to remove wood stains from concrete, including cleaning with water and detergent and pressure washing. Also, consider using wood stain removers or acid on more complex stains. Sandblasting and grinding the concrete surface should be your last options when the others fail.

Read on to learn the detailed steps to follow when working on each method mentioned. And you can successfully remove wood stains from concrete.

Methods To Remove Wood Stain From Concrete

Mistakes can happen while applying or storing the wood stain, resulting in spills on the concrete. While wood stain doesn’t ruin the concrete, it is necessary that you remove it promptly.

Usually, water-based wood stains are easier to remove compared to the oil-based option. However, the time the wood stain has been on the concrete also determines the success of removing it. Nevertheless, in most cases, the wood stain comes off successfully.

Remove Wood Stain From Concrete

The following list contains the various methods to remove wood stains from concrete.

1. Water and Cleaning Detergent

This method is better when water-based or wood stains are still wet on the concrete. It includes using water, detergent, soaking rugs, and a floor brush to remove the stain. Grab these items and follow the steps below to remove the wood stain.

  • Step 1. Place the rugs on the wood stain and allow them to soak as much wood stain as possible.
  • Step 2. Mix the cleaning detergent with water and sprinkle on the stained area.
  • Step 3. Use the floor brush to scrape the floor thoroughly.
  • Step 4. Sprinkle more water and detergent on the wood stain and continue scrapping.
  • Step 5. Rinse the area. 
Water and Cleaning Detergent

2. Using Pressure Washer

A pressure washer is another ideal option, especially if the stain hasn’t settled much on the concrete. This method involves blasting the concrete surface with high-pressure water to lift off and clean the wood stain.

Acquire the pressure washer and follow the steps below to clean.

  • Step 1. Adjust the washer’s pressure based on the concrete type and the severity of the stain. Concrete surface that is more porous is likely to be damaged by high pressure.
  • Step 2. Hold the pressure washer at an angle and a safe distance from the affected area to avoid damage.
  • Step 3. Turn on the pressure washer and blast the area with the wood stain.
  • Step 4. Continue blasting the stained area until the wood stain gets cleaned off.

3. Using Muriatic Acid

The other method involves using Muriatic acid, also called Hydrochloric acid, on the affected area. This method suits the more stubborn stains on the concrete and needs acid, water, and a floor brush.

Using Muriatic Acid

Before you begin this and other steps that include using acids, cover all the nearby surfaces and items susceptible to damage. Also, wear protective gear, including eyewear, gloves, and clothing.

  • Step 1. Mix water and hydrochloric acid in a ratio of 1:20 (acid: water). Starting with a diluted solution will prevent the possibility of acid attack on the concrete.
  • Step 2. Apply the solution to the concrete area with the wood stain.
  • Step 3. Scrub vigorously with the floor brush. If the concrete surface is more porous, scrub gently to avoid damaging it.
  • Step 4. If the wood stain persists, adjust the ratio, increasing the amount of acid. Start by replacing one part of the water with one part of acid to strengthen the acid.
  • Step 5. When the stain is cleaned, use water to rinse the area.

4. Using Wood Stain Removers

Another method is to use wood stain removers, which is a safer option with less risk of damaging the concrete surface. Deck stain stripper and graffiti remover cleaner are some ideal options.

Using Wood Stain Removers

Purchase the deck stain stripper or graffiti remover, and follow the steps below.

  • Step 1. Apply the wood stain remover on the concrete area with the wood stain.
  • Step 2. Allow the remover some time to penetrate the wood stain. Usually, five minutes are enough. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the ideal sitting time.
  • Step 3. Use a floor brush to agitate the surface and help the remover work on the wood stain.
  • Step 4. Rinse the area after all the wood stain has been cleaned.

5. Sandblasting

Sandblasting is another method to use and is much more suitable when working in large areas and outdoors. The methods involve blasting abrasive material under high pressure on the stained area. You’ll need a sandblaster, vacuum, and sandpaper.

You can rent a sandblaster if you don’t own one and follow the steps below to remove the wood stain.

  • Step 1. Add the abrasive material of your choice to the sandblaster.
  • Step 2. Adjust the sandblaster’s pressure intensity and set it to low.
  • Step 3. Position the nozzle near the stained area on the concrete.
  • Step 4. Start blasting the surface.
  • Step 5. Use the sandpaper to smoothen the surface.
  • Step 6. Vacuum to remove the abrasive material and clean the area.

Check the video to get an idea of how concrete sandblasting is done.

6. Grinding Method

You can also use the grinding method for more stubborn stains or if the wood stain has been there for a long time. The method involves grinding the stained area with a concrete grinder with abrasive pads.

The method is labor-intensive and should be among your last resort when others fail. You may also have to hire a professional if you’re uncomfortable operating concrete grinders.

Rent the grinder and follow the steps below.

  • Step 1. Attach the necessary parts to the grinders, including the pads. Also, wear protective gear, including a mask, as the process generates a lot of dust.
  • Step 2. Start the grinder and grind on small sections at a time in a circular motion.
  • Step 3. After the stain is off, use finer pads to remove any present spots.
  • Step 4. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt generated during the process.
Grinding Method

Related Questions

The following sections list some questions and answers you might develop while studying this topic.

Q1. Will Wood Bleach Remove Wood Stain From Concrete?

Wood stain contains oxalic acid, which can break down wood stains on wood, and it may be ineffective on concrete. Since concrete is porous, the wood stain can penetrate deep, where bleach cannot access it.

Q2. Can Acids Damage Concrete When Removing Wood Stains?

Most acids discussed above risk damaging the concrete if used excessively or not cleaned off well. For instance, Hydrochloric Acid can etch the concrete if not properly used. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to use the acids and avoid damage.

Q3. Will Paint Thinner Remove Wood Stain From Concrete?

Paint thinners can remove the wood stain from concrete but have limited ability compared to most other methods. The thinners can be ineffective if the wood stain has penetrated deeply or has been on the concrete for a long time.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the methods discussed will help you remove the wood stain from your concrete surface. The time the wood stain has been on the concrete, its type, and the porosity of the concrete will determine its success. Consider fixing it immediately if you spot the stain on the concrete.

Also, when using the methods that involve using acids, it’s ideal to test on a small part of the area with wood stain. Testing will allow you to note potential damage or discoloration on the concrete surface. Consider hiring a professional if unsure how to go about it and prevent potential damage.